Intervals, Reps, and Speed
Understanding Interval Work
Speed Work, Intervals, and Repeats. What are they? why do we do them? Rest doesn't matter or does it? I hear these things often in our weekly training groups. As a Coach I am big fan of knowing the purpose of each workout. Not just what the workout is but what are we trying to build on with each workout.
Intervals can work so many different things depending on how the workout is put together
Here's an example, 12x400 meters can be 3 different workouts just by making adjustments to the pace and recovery between each repetition. 12x400 with 30 seconds of recovery would be a Max Vo2 / Anaerobic workout. While 12x400 at the same pace with 2:00-3:00 rest would be a Tempo workout. 12x400 at a 2k race pace with 3:00 or more recovery would be a speed/power workout. So yes the recovery matters.
The key is understanding what the goal of the workout is
I see too many Runners that do the prescribed distance at whatever pace they can manage without paying attention to the recovery. Then start another repetition when they feel recovered. Workouts are designed to work your system in specific zones to maximize fitness gains. When you skip the small details of a workout you reduce the gains you receive from the hard effort you put in.
Ask questions if you don't understand the goal even if you think you may and just want clarification
Communication with your Coach and understanding the purpose of every workout before you begin will greatly increase your fitness, and move you further towards your Running goals whatever they may be. And, HAVE FUN 🙂